10 Richest Rappers of All Time

Most rappers are all about making money and showing it off, and these ten richest rappers of all time are no exception. From the “bling-bling” on their clothing, to their flashy cars, it’s all about making that cash flow often and in great abundance.

  1. 50 Cent, $150 million. Even though the first single on 50’s album, “Before I Self Destruct,” was leaked before its official release date in November, 2009, sales still soared. He's not just a rapper, he's also an actor with his own video games and G-Unit clothing line, which contribute to the great abundance of wealth amassed by this well-loved hip-hop all-star.
  2. Jay-Z, $82 million. Climbing the ladder of wealth is Shawn Carter, whose album, “The Blueprint 3,” released September 1, 2009, features the wildly popular single, “Empire State of Mind.” He does far more than rap, although that's quite an accomplishment in itself; he's also an entrepreneur, a founding member of Roc-A-Fella Records, and currently runs Rockawear clothing line.
  3. Diddy, $35 million. Sean Combs, is known on all corners of the globe as owner of Ciroc Vodka and producer of Bad Boy Records artists like Notorious B.I.G. and Day 26. As an actor, he's appeared on Broadway and reality TV shows, “Making The Band” and “I Want To Work For Diddy.”
  4. Kanye West, $30 million. Wealth and eccentric behavior often go hand-in-hand, which is definitely true for this rapper. His deft lyrical content, rap, and production abilities are among the best. Unparalleled, colorful lighting shows make concert audiences want more. His album, “808s And Heartbreak,” was released in November, 2008.
  5. Timbaland, $22 million. Although sued by Kernel Records for allegedly stealing Janne Suni's “Acidjazzed Evening,” for use on Nelly Furtado’s hit “Do It,” Timbaland’s pockets are still swollen as a rapper/producer, lending rap vocals on most of his productions. Top-sellers include "Promiscuous" (Nelly Furtado), "SexyBack" (Justin Timberlake), "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)" (Missy Elliot), and "Big Pimpin'" (Jay-Z).
  6. Pharrell Williams, $20 million. “Skate Board Pete” definitely has know-how when it comes to writing, rapping, and producing. Stepping onto the production scene as member of The Neptunes duo, Pharrell’s star and finances have continued to climb. Unafraid to blend musical genres in the name of hip-hop, Pharrell never ceases to amaze, having produced for Clipse, N.O.R.E., Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Snoop, and Game.
  7. Snoop Dogg, $16 million. Snoop is the godfather of rap, with the money, houses, and cars to prove it. Making movies, displaying his unique rap style, and making 1970’s gear and hair-do’s hot all over again contribute to Snoop’s successful swagger in the industry. “Fatherhood,” his number one reality TV series, starred Snoop and his family every Sunday night in 2007. Snoop continues to bring in top dollar with album “Malice N Wonderland,” released on December 8, 2009.
  8. Dr. Dre, $15 million. One of the original members of gangster rap group N.W.A., Dr. Dre is one of the hottest producers and rappers alive, commanding top dollar and high praise for his productions. Everybody seems to want in, and for good reason. Dr. is also an actor and C.E.O. of Aftermath Entertainment. He’s produced for other rich rappers including 50 Cent, Eminem, and Snoop Dogg. No wonder this guy is so well-paid.
  9. Ludacris, $14 million. Southern rap was once unheard of. With “Luda,” as Ludacris is often called by fans, the “Dirty South” will not go unrecognized nor uncelebrated. Co-founder of Disturbing Tha Peace record label, Ludacris has made quite an impression on the industry. March 9, 2010 marked the release of his highly-acclaimed album, “Battle of The Sexes.” Movies like “Hustle & Flow,” “2 Fast 2 Furious,” and “Rock N Rolla” have made Luda’s pockets even fatter.
  10. Lil Wayne, $10 million. Going to prison on weapons charges in 2009 has done nothing to stop Lil Wayne from being beloved. He's so hot that he can sing a song, lace it with auto-tune, pass it off as rap, and sell millions, like no one else. Little old ladies with blue hair use terms coined by Wayne. Wayne coined the term “bling-bling” in 1999 on his single by the same name. His “Rebirth” album was released on February 2, 1010.


Forbes Magazine

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